The Orioles avoid the sweep by beating the Blue Jays, 5-3. (Denise Sanders, Baltimore Sun video)
The boos directed at Chris Davis have become more noticeable as the Orioles slugger dug himself deeper into an early-season slump. And after Davis' first at-bat in Wednesday's 5-3 win over the Toronto Blue Jays — a quick three-pitch strikeout in which he swung and missed at three Marco Estrada fastballs — Davis heard the latest round of boos.
Digging out has to start somewhere, however, and after that strikeout put Davis in a 3-for-38 hole to open the season, Davis recorded his first multihit came while also driving in a go-ahead run with an RBI double that paced a three-run fourth inning.
For Davis, a night like Wednesday night was about, in his words, trusting the process.
"I felt better the last couple days in BP [batting practice], but that doesn't always translate into success in games," Davis said. "But I know it is there. It's hard sometimes to trust the process, but that's really all you can do. I thought we did a great job tonight of just hanging in there, getting the runs when we could and not trying to do too much, and it resulted in a win for us. So, hopefully, we can build off of that."
Orioles manager Buck Showalter placed Davis in the leadoff spot to open the season, hoping it would spur Davis and the team's offense into a strong start, but it didn't. And Davis found himself so mired in a slump that he didn't play against two left-handed starters.
He hasn't given the hometown crowd much to cheer about, entering Wednesday's series finale against the Blue Jays in an 0-for-19 stretch in five games at Camden Yards. The boos became louder, as they did following his second-inning strikeout Wednesday.
"Amidst the boos, there are always people picking me up. I think our fan base understands the amount of work that goes into it, the effort that is there on a night-in, night-out basis," Davis said. "But ultimately, I know they want results. I don't like the boos but I understand their frustration. But honestly, I hear more positive things throughout the game then I do boos and that's really what picks me up and I try to do that on a consistent basis."
Davis began to make amends in his next at-bat in the fourth inning. With runners at first and second and one out in a tied game, he roped a 2-2 changeup into the right-field corner to score Jonathan Schoop from second and give the Orioles a 2-1 lead.
"To me, it's taking the results out of it," Davis said. "Obviously they weren't the results I wanted [in the first at-bat] but I was actually trying to accomplish something there and despite the end result, I accomplished what I wanted to. When you're not going how you want to, you have to simplify it and just try to find one thing and focus on that, so I was proud of myself for hanging in there. I'm going to do that. I think over the course of my career, it's always been a grind at times, but you stay in there and get your work in and at the end of the day, you trust the process."
Davis added a seventh-inning single, giving Davis his first multihit game of the season and his first since Sept. 22 of last season against the Tampa Bay Rays.
"Yeah, it's nice to have two hits instead of one," Davis said. "Somedays, I'll take one instead of none. So, ultimately the goal is to win the game, so it was nice to feel like I contributed and, obviously, great to get a W."